For two nights Yankee Stadium had a packed house to see a legend and it wasn’t me. I hadn’t been to the new Yankee Stadium so like the Wings song said “Let him in”. The lyrics say Martin Luther and Phil and Don. That could be Martin Luther King or Martin Luther whose theology founded the Lutherans and Phil and Don are Everly Brothers. The name Beatles was from the Beat Generation and Beatnicks.
Billy Joel The Piano Man came by to play the piano for a song. “Who’s this Derek Jeter guy?” Paul McCartney said and “I hear he’s got more hits than me.” Tickets went from $30 to 275. I was in the nose bleed section and could barely see him. It didn’t matter because there was two 100 foot jumbotron screens next to him and the sound system was very good.
I was one of the few formal attired in a tie die shirt I made, but few others were. The crowd was intergenerational and not primarily baby boomers.
Sir Paul paid a tribute to the late Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison. Jimi once opened for him and in record time learned a song. The way his guitar wailed it went out of tune a lot. Paul recalled that Jimi yelled to the audience “Is Eric (Clapton) here, I need him to tune it”. That is why Paul uses many guitars.
His drummer was hamming it up comically with theatrical playing and even his singing being spotlighted. Live and Let Die a James Bond track may have been their best number. The song starts soft than the heavy orchestral break exploded, flames shot up in front of the stage, which were joined by fireworks once the drums kicked in. They ended the set with the crowd sing-along Hey Jude.
I was in Liverpool and took a tour led by one of Paul’s classmates. In the 1960’s all the upcoming British Invasion Groups came through there like the Rolling Stones and Gerry and the Pacemakers. The Merci said in a song, is the river. Some Beatle’s songs about the area are Abbey Road, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. Every song John Lennon wrote Paul fine tuned. One they thought didn’t need any was Something which Paul played on a ukulele. He played six instruments at the concert.
The screen was like a teleprompter to Paul and he kidded it as it misspelled words and answered him back. It made you think about the words but it only could fit a sentence at a time and was too fast. It would be better if they played a baseball game there for the use.
When they did the song Give Peace a Chance, fireworks went off high into the sky; a planned fire was on stage, and smoke. A great photo that didn’t come out was with the train behind him and the moon out.
Throughout the night the pyrotechnics and lighting had a lava, firework or Christmas decoration look. There was confetti, psychedelic art and possibly pop and op art. With every song there were videos playing appropriate to the words. Many looked like frantic old Keystone Kops or the Three Stooges running.
The song Let it Be was well played and is not about Mother Mary in the bible but Paul’s mother passing away. Most of the songs seemed like a lot of flower child music and no political or social statement songs till he did Blackbirds which had symbolism. It was a song supporting the civil rights and integration of Little Rock Arkansas.
Band on the Run and Back in the USSR was one of the better numbers which once recorded lasted longer than the USSR. Just a few years ago he played it in Red Square Moscow and a Defense Minister said he learned English from their songs.
I would have liked to hear She Loves You, Love Me Doo and I Want to Hold Your Hand which I think he played on the Ed Sullivan Show. At 69 it may not have worked. Instead of At 17 he might have played When I’m 64.
There was a 5 piece band with three guitars, a drummer and a keyboardist. Programs were going for $30 and people were asking for your used ticket as you left. The show was superb because it had 35 songs with most being hits. There was no material they were trying out for an album. It lasted almost three hours with two encores. The second encore had Yesterday which may be the second highest recorded song in history according to one source. Helter Skelter was well done with many quick cut videos. He ended with an Abbey Road medley.
Three hours had no breaks. I’ll give him a little free advise if he wants to make it in the business or last, oops never mind.
Set list: Magical Mystery Tour, Hello Goodbye, Junior’s Farm, All My Loving, Jet, Drive My Car, Sing the Changes, The Night Before, Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady, Paperback Writer, The Long and Winding Road, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five, Let Him In, Maybe I’m Amazed, I’ve Just Seen a Face, I Will, Blackbird, Here Today, Dance Tonight, Mrs. Vanderbilt, Eleanor Rigby, Something, Band on the Run, Ob-la-di Ob-la-da, Back in the U.S.S.R., I’ve Got a Feeling, A Day in the Life, Give Peace a Chance, Let It Be, Live and Let Die, Hey Jude, Lady Madonna, Day Tripper, Get Back
Encore: Yesterday, Helter Skelter, Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End